New Beginnings and the Endings they Create

Author: Leanne Donoghue-Tamplin, Psychologist and Director of Real Success Pty Ltd, helping women create the lives they deserve,


“As one door closes, another one opens” – well, that’s what they say.  I don’t think it’s as simple as that: – doors don’t open and close at the same time, doors slam shut in your face, and you get your foot in one door and realise you want to be in another!  The doors can be hard to identify – they might be: trying something different, the death of a loved one, divorce, moving, or changing careers.

Sometimes new beginnings are against your will, and sometimes you instigate them.  But, without a doubt, when you close a door, you lose something.  Saying goodbye to someone or something forever is hard, and if it’s not forever, it’s not really closing a door, is it?  The uncertainty of the future and the fear of the unknown can make closing the door difficult.  “How will I survive without you?” “What if I can’t cope when it’s gone?” “How much will I miss this?” Recognising these fears, reality checking them, making a plan to manage them, and getting support and reassurance from yourself and others does help.  Although you might need some nudges to do it, go at your own pace, because at the end of the day it is YOU who has to close that door and YOU who has to live with it closed.

Funnily enough, beginnings aren’t all they’re cracked up to be either.  Things don’t always go according to your plan and you might start to wish you had never shut that damn door!  And unless you really shut it, the beginnings don’t seem to happen.  If it isn’t working …revise your plan.  A good plan will keep you focused and tell you the next step to take – no matter what happens.  This can help you feel more secure even if it doesn’t go perfectly.

When I was 21 years of age, my five year relationship (one I thought would last forever) was ending, and my career in information technology was becoming unfulfilling.  One night, I was at my brother Brian’s house playing Trivial Pursuit when a question came up about America.  “I can’t wait to be there in six weeks!”  he exclaimed.  “Wow”, I said, “I wish I could see America”.  He simply replied “Why don’t you come?”  “You’re kidding aren’t you?” I chuckled.  “No, no” he said, why don’t you come?”  I had never travelled, and never even thought I would.  My brother was sixteen years older than me and we had never done anything like this together before.  But I did go to America with my brother and his wife, and it opened doors I had never dreamed would be open.  My whole life changed and I developed courage I never knew I had.  It can take enormous courage to close a door and open another one.  But as soon as you start, your courage seems to multiply.  If you don’t think you’ve got enough courage, start taking the first step and see what happens.  Courage isn’t about not being afraid.  Courage is being afraid and doing it anyway.

Closing a door can leave you feeling lost, sad, confused, and helpless.  Opening a door can give you pride, fear, excitement, and hope.  Fulfilling your potential is not just about new beginnings, it is also about acknowledging and respecting the doors you close, the choices you make, and the choices that are forced upon you.  My brother Brian passed away in 2001 at the age of only 51 – he opened many doors during his life but his time was just too short.  I would have loved to travel with him again, but I am very grateful that I listened and we had one amazing adventure together.

As a door is closing, don’t get too caught up yelling and fighting against it.  You need to also be listening for the call from behind the new door, beaconing to you: “Why don’t you come?”

“Come to the edge, he said.

They said: We are afraid.

Come to the edge, he said.

They came.

He pushed them…and they flew.”

                                (Guillaume Apollinaire)

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